There are some who in accepting Christian Science have experienced a haunting doubt as to the benefit of organization in connection with so spiritual a faith. Caught up to heaven, they have wondered whether the jarring notes of earth might not vanish sooner were love to God and man expressed in daily deeds, which alone are the outcome and guarantee of a truly spiritual religion. The thought vaguely occurs that since churches and sects have in the past been responsible for much rivalry and persecution, this glorious Science should have a simpler setting; its healing work manifesting individual growth, and the pleasures of association being left to informality and intuition, or possibly to gather about a teacher's chair.

That this rebound from organized church life is not the voice of wisdom is surely provable, and in pointing to the following considerations the writer would testify anew to the God-inspired insight and energy of the Founder of this movement in organizing the Christian Science church. Glancing first at the relation of Christian Scientists as a body to the outside world, we may note that the present need of humanity is not so much the abolition of church organization as its existence as an emphatic expression of harmony and charity. Whatever discords the world may itself permit or foster, it insists that the church should carry out the Master's instructions in this regard. And here the Christian Science church should set an example that the world will not be slow to acknowledge. The Christian Science body leaves its neighbor Christians alone, except when it can do them a kindly service, and this is frequently commented upon by the press.

In fitting accord with the essential rule that our healing faith must not be forced upon those who have no desire for it, is the open invitation of the reading-room and the impersonal tone of the church service. These phenomena, to such as may not yet be ready to see a revelation behind them, often meet a special preparatory need; while to those "simple seekers for Truth," as our Leader calls them (Science and Health, p. 570), who, yearning for peace, are ready to accept all offered aid, these gracious means are as the very gate of heaven after long wanderings, it may be, in friendless paths of doubt and despari. Conceivably, a literature, reading-rooms, and lectures might proceed from some movement less than an organized church, but this would be a most misleading departure from the true historic sense and evolution, in which a strictly religious literature has always been connected with a church, the two affording to the world a guarantee of their mutual intent with which mankind is certainly not yet ready to dispense.

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January 28, 1911

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